MLB Weekend Series Preview- Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cleveland Indians
The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cleveland Indians tee it up for a three-game Interleague series at Progressive Field starting this Friday night. Both of these ball clubs are off to a surprisingly strong start and right in the thick of things for the lead in their respective division.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to avoid a three-game sweep to Baltimore on the road this Thursday before heading onto Cleveland. They are now 32-29 on the year and two games in back of Cincinnati in the NL Central. The Pirates are 13-18 on the road this season.
Cleveland has also dropped the first two games of its three-game series against the Reds and is now 4-6 in its last 10. The Indians trail Chicago by a game and a half in the AL Central with an overall record of 32-29. They are 16-13 on the road this season and an even 16-16 at home.
Friday, June 15
James McDonald vs. Justin Masterson
McDonald only lasted four innings his last time out after giving-up three runs on five hits. Overall, the right-hander is 5-2 with a 2.39 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He has yet to allow more than three earned runs in any of his previous 12 starts this year.
Masterson has already posted seven quality starts this season but only has a 2-6 record to show for it. The right-hander has a 4.76 ERA overall but has given-up a total of just four earned runs in his last two starts.
Saturday, June 16
A.J. Burnett vs. Ubaldo Jimenez
Burnett had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning of his last outing and held on for the win against Kansas City. Overall, the right-hander is 6-2 in 10 starts with an ERA of 3.61 and a 1.25 WHIP. Lifetime against Cleveland, Burnett is 3-6 with a 4.55 ERA.
Jimenez is coming off his best outing of the season; holding St. Louis to just one earned run on five hits in seven full innings. The right-hander is 6-4 overall with a 4.91 ERA. He has given-up three or less earned runs in four of his last five starts. Jimenez is 3-1 against the Pirates with a 2.31 ERA,
Sunday, June 17
Brad Lincoln vs. Jeanmar Gomez
Lincoln joined the starting rotation from the bullpen and will be making his fourth start of the year. He has given-up a total of nine earned runs on 15 hits in his last two starts to get tagged with losses in both. A poor performance on Sunday could be the right-handers ticket back to the bullpen.
Gomez is 4-5 with a 4.71 ERA in 11 previous starts. He held Cincinnati to one earned run on six hits in his last outing after giving-up 17 earned runs on 23 hits in his previous three starts. It has been hit or miss with this right-hander all season long with six quality starts while getting completely shelled in the other five.
The Pirates are 7-20 in 27 Interleague games against a right-handed starter and 9-50 in 59 Interleague games on the road. The total has gone ‘over’ in five of their last six road games.
The Indians are 11-4 in their last 15 games against the NL Central and 5-1 in their last six home games against a right-handed starter. The total has stayed ‘under’ in their last five Interleague games.
Head-to-head, Pittsburgh has lost its last four games in Cleveland with the total staying ‘under’ in all four. The Indians have won four of the last six meetings overall.